The Ultimate ‘TRL’ Throwback Playlist

by Danielle Jackson

I’d be shocked to come across any person who wasn’t totally obsessed with TRL as a teen/pre-teen in the early 2000s. I’d be even more shocked to find another person whose heart wasn’t filled with joy immediately upon hearing that the video countdown show is returning to MTV this summer as MTV Live. TRL was the program to watch after school, because, though some of your favorite pop songs from the TRL era were likely already on repeat on your iPod or Walkman, there was nothing quite like gathering around your TV with your friends and watching (again and again) some of the most iconic videos of the early 2000s. But speaking of songs being on repeat, are you ready for the ultimate TRL throwback playlist that'll get you pumped and ready for the show's return in June?

TRL provided us with some unforgettable moments throughout its ten year run, but we also saw the rise of some of the greatest hits from our teenage years. For anyone who tuned in every day to watch Carson Daly chit chat with the best of the best in pop music – and subsequently longed to be a part of that massive studio audience in Times Square – this one's for you. Follow along, for this throwback playlist that's sure to get you excited for TRL's return.

"The Boy is Mine," Brandy and Monica (1998)

The music video for “The Boy is Mine” didn’t spend too much time at the top of the chart, but that doesn’t make it any less iconic. It made its way into TRL’s top 100 videos at the end of that year.

"Wake Me Up When September Ends," Green Day (2005)

Green Day has an extensive catalogue of hits and videos to choose from, but one of the most memorable ones has to be “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” thanks to that cameo by Evan Rachel Wood. The video spent ten days at the top spot.

"I Want It That Way," The Backstreet Boys (1999)

The Backstreet Boys totally dominated the countdown for most of 1999 thanks to “I Want It That Way.” The video topped the countdown for a total of 20 days, including TRL’s Top 99 of ‘99 that closed out the year.

"Thong Song," Sisqo (1999)

The video, an ode to the epic nature of spring break, nabbed the top spot for one broadcast in 1999.

"Umbrella," Rihanna (2007)

The video for one of the many hit songs that ascended Rihanna to superstar status came out in the spring of 2007, and took the #1 spot for 15 weeks.

"Big Pimpin'," Jay Z feat. UGK (2000)

“Big Pimpin’” was released in 1999, but the music video debuted the following year. It was #1 on TRL only once.

"The Call," The Backstreet Boys (2000)

The Backstreet Boys proved that their reign was nowhere near over in 2000, when “The Call” topped almost every countdown for almost four months.

"Apologize," One Republic feat. Timbaland (2007)

The Timbaland-assisted song and video made its debut in 2006 and snagged the #1 spot six times in a row.

"Gone," NSYNC (2001)

The famous slow jam made it to TRL around October of 2001 and stayed there for the next two months, taking home the top spot over 20 times.

"Can't Get You Out of My Head," Kylie Minogue (2002)

The super futuristic "Can't Get You Out of My Head" topped the list ten times in 2002.

"The Anthem," Good Charlotte (2003)

To be honest, what Good Charlotte song wasn't an anthem? This one topped off the list over 20 times.

"In Da Club," 50 Cent (2003)

"In Da Club" was featured on 50 Cent's debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. The song's music video was #1 over ten times.

"Dirrty," Christina Aguilera feat. Redman (2002)

One of X-tina's greatest hits, "Dirrty" was the lead single off her 2002 album Stripped, and it topped the countdown six times.

"Toxic," Britney Spears (2004)

Isn't it so nice to know that the rest of America loved that sequin bodysuit just as much as you did? "Toxic" was easily one of Britney's most iconic videos, and it was voted #1 on TRL almost 20 times.

"Yeah," Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris

"Toxic" was dethroned by "Yeah," which was the lead single off of Usher's 2005 album, Confessions.

"Because of You," Kelly Clarkson (2005)

Because of...this video, the American Idol winner made it to the top of the countdown almost 30 times.

"SexyBack," Justin Timberlake (2006)

The singer and NSYNC alum definitely brought sexy back in 2006, and he let it sit in the top spot for over a month.

"Irreplaceable," Beyonce (2006)

Queen Bey's "Irreplaceable" quickly shot to the top spot to the surprise of no one. It was #1 on the countdown a total of nine times.

"Hot in Herre," Nelly (2003)

Let this iconic music video serve as a reminder that we have Nelly to thank for any desire we once had to wear a band-aid on either of our cheeks to make a fashion statement. "Hot in Herre" snagged the #1 spot 12 times.

"Hips Don't Lie," Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean

The video was #1 only once in 2006 but it was still a hit that's worth remembering.

"Lollipop," Lil Wayne feat. Static Major

You didn't even need to tune in to the show during its last year on air to know that this song was literally everywhere. Before the show ended, "Lollipop" made it to #1 almost 20 times.

Go ahead and listen to these songs on repeat for the rest of the day — you get a few bonus points if any of them are still in your music library.